Share Notes Sept 30 & Oct 2, 2021
CSA Share Notes:
Welcome to you first CSA share of the fall season! Thank you so much for partnering with us this growing season. Each week will look a little different, with the first few weeks largely resembling summer shares, as the cool weather crops have yet to mature. Then those hot season crops will phase out throughout November, leaving all the hearty and leafy cold crops. We’re talking loads of roots, bunches of nutritious leafy greens, salad greens, and more. But you’ll have to be patient! We hope to deliver weekly all the way until Christmas, but there’s a good chance we’ll have to take a few weeks off here and there (typically near the beginning and end of the season) to let the garden catch up when it isn’t in full swing. Hope you enjoy the season!
Here’s your vegetable line up:
- Bell Peppers— Colorful and crisp, a few for everyone this week.
- Italian Peppers— These are a thin-walled sweet pepper, that are fantastic with dips like hummus. They also roast wonderfully and are excellent in place of bell pepper in any cooked dish. Find these on Sola Bread Co.’s Red Moon Pizza which they only offer seasonally.
- Jalapenos— A nice handful for everyone. Stuff with polenta, jam-spiked cream cheese, or grill bacon wrapped.
- Poblanos—A few for all the shares. These are nice and spicy, great stuffed like the jalapenos, or chopped into an egg casserole or a batch of cornbread.
- Basil — Treat your basil like fresh cut flowers, rather than a vegetable. Do NOT store it in the refrigerator or it will turn black. Just trim the stems and place in fresh water, changing the water daily. If they’re pretty wilted, you can first submerge it in a sink-full of cold water for a couple of hours to help it perk back up. If it doesn’t perk up?? Hang it to dry in a dark, well-ventilated area and you’ll have tasty dried basil to use this winter.
- Okra— This mix of lovely colors are our two heirloom varieties of okra. Similar to our eggplant tips, this crop craves super high heat. Grill it, or roast in a hot oven. Eat them as soon as you can to make sure they’re fresh and tender. They don’t stay tender off the plant for more than 2 or 3 days so if you wait longer than that to enjoy them, some of the larger pods will be woody, but they are tender when picked and if eaten as fresh as possible.
- Cucumbers— Crunchy and tasty
- Slicing Tomatoes — We had enough for everyone. Some are fairly underripe, as we pick them before any grasshoppers decide to chomp into them and ruin them. Just give them lots of time upside down on a kitchen window sill and they’ll be perfectly ripe in no time.
- San Marzano — These delicious beauties are our heirloom Roma type and are so good. The bugs really love them, so we have to pick them pretty early to avoid crop loss. Just allow them to finish ripening on your counter and enjoy in a salsa or pico.
- Cherry Tomatoes — These are the super sweet, orange Sungolds our customers rave about! For the large shares this week
- Eggplant— Large shares received a nice big Italian eggplant (either the Caliope heirloom or Italian Black Beauty) Eggplant are great in anything Italian, or in a curry, or as a side dish
- Cooking tip 1: If they’re super fresh off the plant, no need to sweat them. If they’re more than 3 or 4 days post harvest, they can start to get a little bitter, and sweating them removes bitterness. Cut them into the size you want to cook (cubes, slices, whatever) and toss with a little salt. Place in a colander to drain for 30 min-1 hour then pat them dry before cooking them.
- Cooking tip 2: use really high heat. Roast in a 400+ degree oven, use a grill, or sear in a smokin’ hot cast iron. You want to get a little char on them and just barely cook the insides. This will give you sweet, creamy eggplant, not mushy, chewy, or squeaky eggplant.
- Garlic— Soon we’ll be planting our seed-garlic for next year’s crop. We’re just giving out the last of what we don’t need to hold back for planting. This garlic has great pungent flavor. Enjoy!
Veggie Storage tips:
All your eggplant, peppers, okra and cukes will keep longest stored in the fridge sealed up in produce bags. We’ve got a thorough basil tip above on how to properly store it, make sure you read that! Tomatoes also do not want to be stored below 50 degrees or they turn mealy, so keep them at room temp or in the coolest area of your kitchen. Onions and garlic prefer a dry, room temperature spot. Everything will need a thorough washing before cooking, but leave the dirt on until you’re ready to use them to prevent spoilage.
We’d love to hear stories and recipes of your culinary adventures this week. Send us a note or post a comment of how you’ve used your CSA share.
Your farmers, Jess & Justin